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Theater group to discuss plans for city Monday.

Byline: Richard Duckett

WORCESTER - A meeting to discuss ongoing plans for the Merrimack Repertory Theatre of Lowell to bring a full-time professional, resident theater company to Worcester will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Monday in the lobby of The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts, 2 Southbridge St., Worcester. The meeting is open to the public.

In May, Merrimack Repertory Theatre said it would like to explore evolving into a two-city theater company serving both Lowell and Worcester. Initial productions in Worcester would be in a 240-seat black box theater created on the stage of The Hanover Theatre.

The first show there, held in part to gauge local interest, will be John Logan's Tony Award-winning play "Red," with performance dates March 14-17 next year.

Dan Berube of Merrimack Repertory Theatre said a group has been formed in Worcester called the MRT Worcester Committee to support the proposed project. The theater company in Worcester would be called MRT Worcester, Berube said. Plans for a 2013-14 season would include MRT Worcester presenting three productions.

Merrimack Repertory Theatre artistic director Charles Towers has said the ultimate intent would be to find a permanent home in Worcester - ideally seating 400 to 450 people - with productions of each play in the MRT season taking place in Lowell and Worcester. "I can envision that, yes. A full season of each production," Towers said in an earlier interview.

Other newly formed theater groups, including American Classical Theater, are also exploring the possibility of establishing a regular season of shows in Worcester.

Speakers at Monday's meeting will include Brigita Clementi, chairman of the MRT Worcester committee; Towers; and Troy Siebels, executive director of The Hanover Theatre for the Performing Arts. Refreshments will be served.

Worcester has been without a full-time theater company since Foothills Theatre closed in 2009. Merrimack Repertory Theatre was founded in 1979 and has a subscription base of about 4,000. A typical season has an "eclectic mix" of mostly contemporary or new dramas, comedies and musicals. Its 2012-13 season features seven productions.
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Title Annotation:LIVING
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Oct 20, 2012
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